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Aerosol Recycling

Celebrating National Recycling Week (NRW) from 10-16 November 2014, Planet Ark’s Head of Campaigns, Brad Gray, said: 

“It’s surprising that more than half of Australians wrongly believe that aerosol cans can’t be recycled. In fact, they are made from fully recyclable steel or aluminium. Even though many people use aerosols everyday for products like deodorants they still hold on to old ideas. [Planet Ark’s] research shows people report having been told to keep aerosol cans out of the recycling, which is a hangover from the past. Once they are empty it is perfectly safe to put them in the recycling.”

View the NRW community service announcement

Find out if your Council accepts empty aerosols (most do!)

Read what Planet Ark has to say about aerosol recycling

Read what Can & Aerosol News says about the campaign 

Read the blog by Association Executive Director, Philip Fleming 

and continue to read this webpage to find out more how you, and 90% of Australians, could and should recycle empty aerosols.

National Recycling Week community service announcement

Aerosols are made from steel and aluminium. Both can be recycled when empty.

Each year, Australians use about 10 aerosol cans each. Aerosol recycling is well-established in Australia and helps reduce landfill waste and greenhouse emissions. 

Find out if your local council recycles empty aerosols. Most do.

The majority of councils accept empty* aerosols in their kerbside collection schemes and at waste disposal sites. In fact, around 90% of Australians are able to recycle their aerosols. To find out if your council accepts aerosols, call them, visit, or call the Recycling Hotline: 1300 733 712. If they don’t accept aerosols, encourage them to do so!

*To dispose of any full or part-full aerosols, contact your council (only EMPTY aerosols should be placed in your recycling!)

Place your empty used aerosol cans in your recycling bin

Place your empty aerosol cans straight into your recycling bin, along with other aluminium or steel household waste. Do not pierce, squash or separate them. It helps, but is not essential, if you remove any large plastic parts that come off easily, like the lid.

Most of us are good at recycling kitchen and household aerosols, but don't forget to recycle those empty personal care aerosols that you have thrown away in your bathroom or bedroom bins!

To dispose of any full or part-full aerosols, contact your council (only EMPTY aerosols should be placed in your recycling!)

Check out this helpful video on aerosol recycling - click here.

The aerosol industry encourages recycling through

  • On-pack (labelling) recycling logos.
  • Promotion of recycling at industry forums, conferences and training. 
  • Support of the Australian Packaging Covenant.

Recycling needs all the encouragement and support it can get! Research undertaken for the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation ('APCO') calculates that only 37% of all post-consumer steel cans (including aerosols) were recovered in 2017-18, whilst only around 30% of all aluminium aerosol cans were recovered. Are you playing your part by recycling your empty aerosols?

We can all do more. Start recycling your empty aerosols today!

Did you know?

  • In Australia, around 45-50% of the 260 million aerosol cans used each year are made from tinplate steel, with the rest made from aluminium.
  • The steel used in tinplate aerosol cans contains around 20-25% recycled content.
  • Both aluminium and steel can be infinitely recycled without degrading. This means they can be recycled over and over, reducing the use of valuable resources.
Read about the recycling benefits of steel

  • Steel is the world’s most recycled material and is 100% recyclable.
  • Making steel from recycled cans uses 75% less energy than when producing steel from raw materials. This means less greenhouse gases are emitted during production.

Read about the recycling benefits of aluminium

  • Making aluminium from recycled material saves 95% of the energy consumed in manufacturing it using virgin material.
  • So recycling all your alumium cans – INCLUDING EMPTY AEROSOLS – delivers a big win for the environment in terms of reducing greenhouse emissions and preserving the earth’s resources!